March 8, 2000
NOTRE DAME, Ind. — The Notre Dame hockey team (14-16-8, 11-10-7 CCHA) heads into the postseason by playing host to a CCHA Tournament quarterfinal series versus Ferris State, on March 10-12 at the Joyce Center (best 2-of-3, start times of 7:05) … the Irish secured the fifth and final home ice spot last week, after tying Michigan State (1-1) while FSU was dropping a 4-2 game to Western Michigan … all games of the FSU series will be aired live by WJVA radio 1580 AM, with the potential Sunday game possibly moved to WHLY 1620 (also available via www.und.com) … after the five first-round series, the lowest two remaining seeds will face off in a single game play-in, on March 14 at the home of the higher-seeded team (if the top four seeds hold, Northern Michigan will play host to the ND-FSU winner).
DOWN TO THE WIRE, PART II: For the second straight season, ND wrapped up playoff home ice on the final weekend of the CCHA regular season and again claimed the final home ice spot by a single point … in 1998-99, ND needed a win at Miami on the last day to edge NMU for the fourth and final home ice spot (the playoffs expanded to 10 teams this season) … last week’s 2-2 tie with MSU-combined with FSU’s 4-2 loss to WMU-ultimately gave ND another one-point cushion for home ice, this time over FSU … the Bulldogs also were in the running for home ice in ’98-’99 but finished three points behind the Irish.
PLAYOFF NOTES: ND joins MSU and Michigan as the only teams to host first-round CCHA Tournament series in each of the past two seasons … ND is 20-7-6 in its last 33 regular-season home games, including three one-goal losses and a pair of losses to Princeton while three of the top ND forwards were at the World Junior Championship … ND lost a home series to Northern Michigan in the 1999 CCHA Tournament (3-2, 1-7, 2-3) … if one of the 7-10 seeds pulls a series upset, the ND-FSU winner would play host to the March 14 “play-in” game (pitting the lowest two remaining seeds, after the five first-round series) … if two of the 7-10 seeds pull off upsets, the ND-FSU winner would advance directly to the semi-finals (March 10, at Joe Louis Arena) … if the top four seeds hold, then the ND-FSU winner would have to travel to NMU for the play-in game.
POSTSEASON HISTORY: Notre Dame owns an all-time record of 10-27-3 in conference tournament action (5-14-3 in the WCHA, 5-13-0 in the CCHA) … the Irish have advanced to the conference postseason in 16 previous seasons but have gone on to the next round just three times: in 1972-73 (5-0, 8-3 wins over North Dakota), in 1979-80 (8-3 win and 4-3 loss in total-goals series vs. Michigan), and in 1981-82 (6-5, 5-3 wins over Michigan) … ND’s 1999 playoff series versus Northern Michigan (3-2, 1-7, 2-3) was the first at the Joyce Center since 1981-82 … ND dropped a hard-fought 1998 playoff series at Michigan (4-2, 1-2/ot, 3-4), with the Wolverines leading for 14 total minutes … after hosting the 1982 CCHA playoff series win over Michigan (6-5, 5-3), the Irish lost at Bowling Green in ’83, played as an independent for the next nine seasons, lost at Michigan in ’93, at Western Michigan in ’94 and at BG in ’95 before missing the playoffs from ’96-’98 … ND owns an all-time home record of 6-4-1 in conference tournament games (3-2-0 in CCHA playoff games).
NEED TWO: Notre Dame opened CCHA Tournament play with a win during each of the past two season before dropping the last two games in both of those series (4-2, 1-2/ot, 3-4 at Michigan in ’98 and 3-2, 1-7, 2-3 at home vs. Northern Michigan in ’99).
IRISH CLINCH HOME ICE: ND senior C Ben Simon scored the game-tying goal with 5:37 left to play and freshman Tony Zasowski turned in a 32-save effort, as the Irish played to a 2-2 tie with visiting MSU on March 3 before finishing the night with possession of the fifth and final home ice spot for the upcoming CCHA Tournament … ND’s win-coupled with FSU’s 4-2 home loss to WMU-ensured that the Irish would finish fifth in the final CCHA standings … the Spartans overcame an early goal from Irish junior LW Dan Carlson (on a strong individual effort down the right side), with sophomore RW Adam Hall scoring twice to push his CCHA-leading season goal total to 22 … MSU freshman Ryan Miller totaled 29 saves but gave up Simon’s power-play goal for the final 2-2 score.
IRISH HEAD COACH DAVE POULIN ON THE 2-2 MSU GAME: “We have never been happier with a tie, and the way it happened, coming back to get it. Every time we have tied this year, it was really a tie. Tonight, we came back and got this one. … You don’t like it when things are out of your control. Ideally, we would have liked to win tonight and tomorrow night. But you take all the help you can get in this league. Tonight, we earned our points. Our penalty-killing lines were great. That was a very good power-play unit they were up against. Basically, the power-play efficiency was a draw. They just had more chances. … Home ice is a big advantage for us. We like this building and we play well at home. … They felt it on our bench. After hearing the score, they really picked it up. Dan Carlson was the first to jump up and he said, ‘It’s in our hands, let’s go get it.’ There was a definite surge. … Carlson’s goal was obviously highlight material. I remember seeing him do stuff like that in high school.”
NOTES FROM THE MSU SERIES (1-1, 3-5): ND is now 2-5-2 in its last nine games versus MSU, after enduring a 17-game winless streak versus the Spartans (0-14-3) … the home team has gone unbeaten in the last eight games of the series (6-0-2) … ND has totaled 11 goals in its last eight games vs. MSU … the 2-2 game marked just the second time this season that ND has not won when holding a lead at the first intermission (9-1-1, 21-2-3 during the last two seasons) … senior C Ben Simon has 7G-2A in 11 career games vs. MSU (the rest of the ND team has just seven career goals vs. MSU) … ND is 2-2-2 during the Poulin era in games following bye weeks, including the 2-2 tie with MSU and a 2-1 loss earlier this season at New Hampshire … ND’s power-play surge continued in the MSU series, as four of ND’s five goals were on the PP … MSU’s 5-3 win represented the most goals allowed by ND freshman Tony Zasowski in 21 games … sophomore G Jeremiah Kimento saw his first action in seven weeks in the game at MSU (9 saves) … the game at MSU featured season highs by ND for penalties (22), penalty minutes (52, more than triple the season average of 15.9) and PP chances (11) while MSU’s 14 penalties and 16 PP chances are most by an ND opponent this season.
SURGING DUO: Junior LW Dan Carlson has 12G-10A in his last 20 games, compared to 4G-6A in the first 16 … senior C Ben Simon has points in six of the last seven games (6G-6A) and 23 (10G-13A) in his last 24 … Simon has scored five of ND’s last 11 goals (all on the PP) and has goals in four of the last five games, after going nearly two months without a goal (a shocking 14-game goal drought, from Dec. 19-Feb. 11) … in the last seven games, linemates Carlson (5G-6A) and Simon (6G-6A) have combined for 11 goals and 23 points.
Ferris State leads Notre Dame in the all-time series, 25-9-3, but Notre Dame has won two of the last six after going 0-5-2 in the previous seven games with the Bulldogs … in the last four seasons, ND and FSU have played 11 times-with just four of those games coming at the Joyce Center (one ND win, two FSU wins and one tie) … during that four-year stretch, ND is just 1-6 on the road vs. FSU (including two losses at Van Andel Arena in Grand Rapids) … combined stats from the Oct. 23-24 series: 55-48 shot edge for ND (Vince Owen and Phil Osaer combined for 52 saves), ND’s PP was 1-for-10, FSU 6-for-18 (3-for-9 in each game) … the 1998-99 series saw ND rally for an early 5-3 win at FSU before dropping a midseason game at Van Andel Arena (4-2) … the final game of the ’98-’99 series saw FSU win 1-0 at the Joyce Center, with D Jim Dube scoring a 5-on-3 goal midway through the second period (ND also had lost the previous game, 1-0 to MSU, and ultimately endured a 204-minute scoreless streak) … one of the more entertaining games recently in the series came on Nov. 20, 1997-with current Irish junior LW Dan Carlson scoring a late game-tying goal for a 5-5 final.
EARLIER THIS SEASON …
FSU 4, ND 1 (10/23, in Big Rapids) … FSU 4, ND 2 (10/24, Van Andel Arena, Grand Rapids) – FSU went 3-of-9 on the power play in each game while receiving strong goaltending from Phil Osaer (30 saves in the first win) and Vince Owen (22 saves in the second win) … the Irish were 1-for-10 on the power play during the series … FSU’s goalscorers in the first game included Rob Kozak, Brent Wishart, Troy Milam and Brian McCullough … ND tied the game midway through the second period, on Dan Carlson’s casual power-play shot from the right circle … FSU then scored on its opening rush in the second game (goal by Rob Lightfoot) before scoring three more PPGs, by Jim Dube, Phil Lewandowski and Kevin Swider … the Irish averted the shutout early in the third period, when David Inman tipped in a shot by Nathan Borega … ND cut the lead to 4-2 in the lategoing, with Michael Chin setting up Andy Jurkowski’s goal from close range … Tony Zasowski made 15 saves while allowing one PPG, in relief of Jeremiah Kimento … the Irish continued to struggle versus FSU on the road (1-6-0 in the last seven).
FERRIS STATE 0 1 3 - 4NOTRE DAME 0 1 0 - 1
2nd: FSU 1. Kozak (Milam, Lewandowski), ND 1. Carlson 1 (Fraser), PP, 10:07.
3rd: FSU 3. Wishart 2 (Swider, Dube), PP, 0:31, FSU 3. Milam 1 (Kozak) 3:45, FSU 4. McCullough 1 (Lightfoot) 17:52.
Shots: ND 9-13-9/31, FSU 7-8-12/27. Saves: ND (Kimento) 7-7-9/23, FSU (Osaer) 9-12-9/30.
Power Play: ND 1-for-6, FSU 3-for-9. Penalties: ND 10 for 20:00, FSU 7 for 14:00.
FERRIS STATE 3 1 0 - 4NOTRE DAME 0 0 2 - 2
1st: FSU 1. Lightfoot 1 (Swider, McCullough) 0:08, FSU 2. Dube 2 (unassisted), PP, 1:52, FSU 3. Lewandowski 1 (Kunitz, Kozak), PP, 13:18.
2nd: FSU 3. Swider 2 (Lightfoot, Dube), PP, 9:11.
3rd: ND 1. Inman 4 (Borega) 1:09, ND 2. Jurkowski 1 (Chin) 16:11.
Shots: ND 6-15-3/24, FSU 11-7-3/21.
Saves: ND 8-6-3/17 (Kimento, 33:18, 2-x-x/2, Zasowski 6-6-3/15), FSU (Owen) 6-15-1/22.
Power Play: ND 0-for-4, FSU 3-for-9.
Penalties: ND 15 for 30:00, FSU 10 for 20:00.
The current ND players have combined for just 15 career goals vs. FSU, with injured players who will miss the playoff series accounting for six of those (four by junior LW Chad Chipchase-including a second-period hat trick at FSU in a 4-3 loss in ’97-’98-and two by sophomore LW/C David Inman) … junior LW Dan Carlson (2G-3A) in the only healthy ND player with multiple career goals vs. FSU, while senior C Ben Simon has 1G-6A and senior D Tyson Fraser has 1G-5A in their careers vs. FSU (no other players have more than three career points vs. the Bulldogs) …
FRIEND OR FOE?
Several Notre Dame and Ferris State players are former teammates: ND senior D Sean Molina and FSU senior C Brian McCullough (Chicago Young Americans), Irish senior D Andy Jurkowski and FSU junior C Kevin Swider (Omaha Lancers), ND junior L Chad Chipchase and FSU sophomore C Rob Collins (Waterloo Siskins), Irish junior RW Matt Van Arkel and FSU freshman LW Phil Lenandowski and freshman RW Josh Bowers (Team Illinois), ND freshman RW Michael Chin and FSU freshman LW K.C Caudill and freshman F Nick Field (Des Moines Buccaneers).
A LEADER IN A MANY WAYS: Junior LW Dan Carlson was credited by Irish head coach Dave Poulin with urging his teammates on during the third period of what was then a 2-1 game with MSU (the Irish scored the game-tying goal moments later), after it had been announced that Western Michigan suddenly had surged in front of Ferris State (the Bulldogs led 2-1 before falling behind, 4-2) … Carlson leads the Irish this season in overall points (32), goals (16), game-winning goals (4), first goals (4) and shots on goal (107) while ranking second in power-play goals (9) and shot pct. (.145) and third in assists (16) … in CCHA games only, Carlson led ND in points (24), goals (13), PPGs (8), GWGs (3), shots (81) and shot pct. (.160).
LEFT OUT: Notre Dame played during the MSU series without three of its top left wings: sophomore David Inman (mononucleosis), senior Andy Jurkowski (hand injury) and junior Chad Chipchase (knee surgery) … freshman Michael Chin was shifted from right to left wing while Inman’s spot on the second power-play unit was filled by junior LW Jay Kopischke and sophomore C Brett Henning.
MO KEEPS GOING: Senior D Sean Molina (Skokie, Ill.) has posted a career-best nine points (1G-8A) and has totaled just 40 career penalties while playing the most games (144) of any current Irish player (he is averaging 3.8 games per penalty for his career) … Molina is tied for eighth on the 1999-2000 team with a career-best eight assists … by playing in at least two postseason games, Molina would become the ninth ND player ever to log 146 career games played (he is the sixth Irish player to play 144-plus games since 1982) … just five ND players have appeared in 148-plus career games, with two-time Academic All-American Steve Noble (148, 1994-98) the only player to do so since 1982 … just two other ND players have logged 145-plus career games since ’82: Brett Bruininks (145, 1992-96) and Brian Urick (146, 1995-99) … Molina has missed just two games this season, after not making the early-season trip to Nebraska-Omaha due to illness.
FAMILIARITY BREEDS SUCCESS: ND’s defensive pairings have remained unchanged since New Year’s Eve (19 straight games, including tonight), with the only exception being the Feb. 19 game at Bowling Green (when junior Ryan Clark did not play due to injury) … Sean Molina and Nathan Borega skating together in 32 of the 38 regular-season games (18 straight) while fellow seniors Tyson Fraser and Sean Seyferth skated together in 27 (18 straight) … Clark and freshman Evan Nielsen were paired together 26 times in the regular season (17 of the last 18) … during that string of consistency in the defensive pairings, ND is 7-5-6 with a 2.58 team goals-against average … since a stunning 6-0 loss at Northern Michigan on Jan. 14, ND is 6-3-3 with a 2.43 team GAA (four games with 1 GA, one with 2 GA, five with 3 GA, one with 4 GA and one with 5 GA) … the senior D foursome of Borega (136), Fraser (127), Molina (144) and Seyferth (63) has combined for 470 career games played … throwing in junior Clark (85) gives the top five Irish D a total of 555 games of career experience (the starting six has 592 career games between them, with Nielsen’s 37).
FIT TO BE TIED: Last week’s tie vs. MSU was ND’s eighth of the season-extending the team record set with the sixth tie on Jan. 29 at Alaska Fairbanks (the ’93-’94 and ’98-’99 teams each posted five ties) … ND has played to overtime in eight of its last nine weeks of action and in 10 games overall (2-0-8), equaling the team record set in 1997-98 (2-4-4) … half of ND’s 38 regular-season games were ties or decided by one goal, with the team’s 7-4 record in one-goal games standing as the best by an Irish team since ND rejoined the CCHA in ’92-’93 … ND’s 7-4 record in one goal games (.636) is the best one-goal win pct. by an Irish team since ND rejoined the CCHA in ’92-’93.
SECOND-NIGHT SLUMP?: The Irish produced a better record this season in the first games of CCHA weekend series (7-4-3) than in the second games (4-6-4), with the biggest difference coming in goals allowed: the Irish gave up just 31 goals in the first games of CCHA series but yielded 45 in the second games … the first period has been a telling sign, as the Irish hold a 9-8 first-period scoring edge in opening games this season but have been outscored 19-9 in the first period of the second games … the ND power play pct. also has dipped from .187 on the first night to .162 on the second while the team’s penalty minutes have increased from 15.1/gm to 18.9 … junior LW Dan Carlson has amassed 17 of his 24 CCHA points in the first games (10G-7A) but just seven in the second games (3G-4A).
HOME-ICE ADVANTAGE: In addition to posting a better record this season at home (9-6-3) than on the road (5-10-5), Notre Dame also has shown noteworthy statistical advantages when skating at the Joyce Center, with 2.8 goals per game (2.2 on the road), a +4.0 shot margin (+1.4), a .197 power play (.164), a .875 penalty kill (.789) and 15.3 penalty minutes per game (18.1) … freshman Tony Zasowski owns a 2.19 GAA and .914 save pct. at home, compared to 2.62, .895 on the road … junior RW Ryan Dolder owns the biggest gap in home and away goalscoring, with 6G-5A in action at the Joyce Center and just 1G-9A in all road games.
WHO CARES WHERE WE ARE PLAYING!: Notre Dame leading scorers Dan Carlson and Ben Simon amazingly have both posted the same point totals at home and on the road … Carlson has totaled 8G-8A in 18 games at the Joyce Center and 8G-8A in 20 games away from home … Simon has 6G-9A in home games this season and 6G-9A in road games as well.
JURKOWSKI NAMED CCHA ALL-ACADEMIC: ND senior LW Andy Jurkowski (Madison, Wis.) was named to the prestigious eight-player CCHA All-Academic Team for 1999-2000, making ND the CCHA’s only school to produce an All-Academic honoree each of the last five seasons … Jurkowski-who received the second-most All-Academic team votes-has made a valuable contribution at LW, after moving up from the D position he held the previous two seasons … a seven-time Dean’s List student, he has posted three 4.0 semesters and owns a 3.86 cumulative GPA as a finance major … he has been nominated for GTE Academic All-America honors for fall and winter “at-large” sports, with that team to be announced in mid-April (ND hockey players have been named Academic All-Americans each of the past three years) … prior to a recent hand injury, Jurkowski had played in a team-best 86 consecutive games … a former walk-on who began his career in ’96-’97 as a F/D, he has appeared in 104 career games, with six goals and 12 assists … he currently ranks as the team’s ninth-leading scorer (4G-8A) and registered points in eight of 10 games during an Oct. 24-Dec. 4 stretch, with goals in back-to-back games twice … he scored the lone goal in a 1-0 win over Alaska Fairbanks and assisted on Ryan Dolder’s late goal that beat MSU, 1-0 …
ALL-ACADEMIC TEAM NOTES: The CCHA All-Academic team typically includes just six honorees (a tie led to eight being recognized) … ND has produced seven previous first team CCHA All-Academic selections since rejoining the CCHA in ’92-’93: Curtis Janicke and Carl Picconatto (’92-’93), Garry Gruber (’95-’96), Steve Noble (’96-’97, ’97-’98) and Forrest Karr and Aniket Dhadphale (’98-’99) … during that eight-year span, only WMU (9) has produced more CCHA All-Academic selections than ND’s eight … two other ND players were nominated for the 1999-2000 All-Academic team: junior LW and Academic All-America nominee Dan Carlson (3.43 in finance) and sophomore LW/C David Inman (3.62 in the College of Business).
PLAYOFF SERIES VETERANS: Despite having no NCAA tournament experience or trips to the CCHA semi-finals, ND’s large contingent of veterans (eight seniors, seven juniors) owns the unique experience of having played in two CCHA first-round series that were extended to three games (4-2, 1-2/ot, 3-4 at Michigan in ’97-’98, 3-2, 1-7, 2-3 vs. NMU last season) … ND’s current leading scorer-junior LW Dan Carlson (15G-14A)-also owns the most career playoff points of any current ND player, with 2G-3A in the playoff series vs. Michigan and NMU … senior C Ben Simon had 2G-2A in those games while junior RW Ryan Dolder was an unexpected hero in the Michigan series, with two goals (including a game-winner) … junior LW Jay Kopischke had just nine points in his first two seasons, but he had assists in both the Michigan and NMU playoff series … senior D Nathan Borega has four career goals, including a PPG in the playoff win at Michigan … the current seniors and juniors own a combined 17 playoff points (7G-10A), with 1A by senior D Tyson Fraser and 2A by injured junior LW Chad Chipchase … excluding third-string G Kyle Kolquist (2 career GP) and Chipchase (92), ND’s other 13 seniors and juniors have combined to log 1,430 career games played with the Irish (the eight seniors have logged nearly 1,000 games, at 958).
CAREER BESTS: Seven ND players have posted career-best point totals this season: senior RW Joe Dusbabek (8G-18A), senior D Sean Molina (1G-8A), senior LW Andy Jurkowski (4G-8A), senior D Sean Seyferth (2G-4A), junior LW Dan Carlson (16G-16A), junior RW Ryan Dolder (7G-14A) and junior LW Jay Kopischke (5G-4A).
PRECIOUS POWER PLAY: Notre Dame possibly has benefitted more from power-play goals than any other CCHA team (12-9-5 when scoring one-plus PPG, 8-2-2 when scoring two-plus, 2-7-2 when scoring none) … seven of ND’s 14 wins can trace their victory margins to PPGs (including one win from each of the last five series) … the Irish have lost seven games where PPGs helped provide the margin of defeat, but three came in the first six games and opposing PPGs have led to just one ND loss margin in the last 19 games (the 5-3 game at MSU, with 3 PPGs by the Spartans) … ND’s pct. of PPGs (42) to overall goals (94) ranks highest in the CCHA (.447), with 23 of ND’s last 41 goals coming on the PP (.561) … ND is averaging 1.11 PPGs/gm but also averages just 1.37 non-PPGs/gm … the Irish head into the FSU series with PPGs in 10 of the last 12 games (19-for-80, .238) while ND stopped 40-of-46 (.870) opponent PP during the last seven games (helping pick up eight crucial points) … senior C Ben Simon (10 of 12, with a total of just 11 PPGs over his first three seasons), junior LW Dan Carlson (9 of 16) and senior RW Joe Dusbabek (5 of 8) each have scored the bulk of their goals on the PP … here’s how the rest of the CCHA shakes out, in pct. of goals on the PP (with a league average of .365): OSU (.438), WMU (.426), UAF (.423), MSU (.409), Mich. (.362), FSU (.353), BG (.339), Miami (.333), UNO (.317), LSSU (.290), NMU (.281) and LSSU (.281).
MORE ON THE PP: ND ranks fifth in the CCHA with a .180 overall PP pct.-including a 10-for-32 stretch (.313) in the last five games-and owns the fourth-most PPGs (42), behind Michigan (51), MSU (47) and WMU (43) … unlike ’98-’99-when a talented first unit accounted for the bulk of ND’s 38 PPGs (.191)-the Irish this season have received PPGs both the first and second units, with personnel on those units fluctuating more than in ’98-’99 … the first PP unit in recent weeks has included senior C Ben Simon (10 PPGs this season, 21 career), senior RW Joe Dusbabek (5, 10), junior RW Ryan Dolder (3, 3), junior LW Dan Carlson (9, 15) and senior D Tyson Fraser (2, 5) … top performers on the second unit-which accounted for 3-of-4 PPGs in the 7-4 win over UNO on Feb. 12-have included freshman C Connor Dunlop, freshman RW Michael Chin (2) sophomore LW/C David Inman (5, 9, likely out for the year with mono), senior D Sean Molina and freshman D Evan Nielsen (2) … players who filled Inman’s PP spot in the MSU series included junior LW Jay Kopischke (2, 2) and sophomore C Brett Henning (2, 3) … ND’s PP unit in ’98-’99 included Carlson and Fraser (part-time) at the point, plus Simon and graduated wingers Aniket Dhadphale and Brian Urick (graduated D Benoit Cotnoir split time with Fraser at the point on the first unit) … that first unit combined for 23 PPGs in ’98-’99 (Dhadphale had nine, Urick six and Simon five, plus three each from Carlson and Fraser).
LESS PRESSURE FOR FROSH: Notre Dame has relied less on freshmen for scoring in the past two seasons, as ND’s freshman class totaled 79 points in 1996-97 (led by Joe Dusbabek’s 13G-12A) and 91 in ’97-’98 (paced by Mark Eaton’s 12G-17A), but just 34 in ’98-’99 (led by David Inman’s 10G-10A) and 45 this season (paced by Connor Dunlop’s 3G-12A) … the percentage of goals scored by freshmen during the past four seasons is as follows: .283 in ’96-’97 (26 of 92), .299 in ’97-’98 (38 of 127), .132 in ’98-’99 (15 of 114) and .149 in ’99-’00 (14 of 94).
NOTRE DAME’S CCHA PLAYOFF TRIVIA:
Q: What team has Notre Dame faced the most in its 18 previous CCHA Tournament games (bonus: in addition to FSU, UAF and UNO, can you name the three other teams that ND never has faced in CCHA Tournament action?)
A: Michigan, seven games (Lake Superior, Miami and Ohio State)
Q: Notre Dame has advanced to the CCHA semi-finals just once in nine previous seasons as a league member. Can you name that season? (bonus: who were the captains on that team?)
A: 1981-82 (Dave Poulin and Jeff Logan)
Q: Name the Irish player who totaled just one regular-season goal in 1997-98 before scoring twice in the CCHA first-round series at Michigan, including a game-winner (bonus: can you name any of the other ND goalscorers in that 4-2 upset win?)
A: Current junior right wing and alternate team captain Ryan Dolder (Mark Eaton, John Dwyer and Nathan Borega)
Q: In the 1997-98 CCHA Tournament win at Michigan, Matt Eisler stopped a third-period penalty shot by what Michigan player?
A: Bill Muckalt
Q: In 1998-99, Notre Dame and Northern Michigan set a CCHA Tournament record for fewest combined penalty minutes in a game. How many PIM did the teams total? (bonus: what was the Irish total)?
A: 8:00 (2:00)
INJURY REPORT: ND sophomore LW/C David Inman missed the MSU series with infectious mononucleosis and likely will not be cleared for a return before the end of the season … a member of the 1999-2000 U.S. Junior National Team (he holds joint citizenship), Inman is ND’s fifth-leading scorer, with 13 goals (second on the team) and seven assists in 32 games played (he missed four games while at the World Junior Championship) … he is tied for third on the team in PPGs (5) and plus-minus (+2) … Inman recently scored two goals in the 3-3 tie at UAF before adding 2G-2A in the 7-4 win over UNO (most points by an ND player this season, later equaled by Ben Simon in the 5-3 win at BG) … junior LW Chad Chipchase underwent reconstructive knee surgery in mid-February and will not return this season … Chipchase-who is expected to make a full recovery for his senior season-was limited to primarily third and fourth-line duty this season, with no points, five penalties and 12 shots on goal in 15 games played (he had 10G-5A in ’98-’99, as one of three ND players to appear in all 38 games) … freshman D Paul Harris continues to recover from surgery in mid-December to remove a cyst from his neck … Harris appeared in nine of ND’s first 20 games, with no points, two penalties and seven shots on goal … senior LW Andy Jurkowski missed the last four games with a hand injury but could return to action this week.
AROUND THE HORN
- Junior LW DAN CARLSON (team-best 16G, plus 16A) remains atop ND’s scoring charts, with goals in six of the last eight games and nine of the last 12 (10G-7A) … he ranks second on the team in PPGs (9), plus team-best totals in GWGs (4) and shots on goal (110) … he has scored or assisted on five of ND’s 14 winning goals and is tied for 10th all-time at ND with seven career GWGs (eight players have 10-plus, with Brian Urick and Dave Poulin sharing the record of 13) … his four GWGs this season (one in consecutive series vs. WMU, UAF and OSU, including two in OT) are tied for eighth in the Irish record book … since Dave Bankoske’s record seven GWGs in ’89-’90, only Urick (5, ’97-’98) has more GWGs in a season that Carlson’s four … Carlson had 3G-2A in the WMU series, including the game-tying goal in the first game with 1:23 left and the OT game-winner (4-3) … he came back in the next game (2-1) at UAF to record his second GWG in three games (he also scored in the last minute of OT the next week at OSU, 2-1) … after a slow start (4G-5A in first 15 GP), Carlson has 12G-11A in the last 19 games … his 16 goals include nine on the PP and one 6-on-5 (he totaled six PPGs in his first two seasons) … Carlson’s four GWGs are more than his total from his first two seasons (3) … he has posted 27-32 points in each of his three seasons (11G-17A in ’97-’98, 7G-20A in ’98-’99) … Carlson needs 4G-4A to become the first “20-20” player at ND since Lou Zadra (24G-23A, ’91-’92).
- Senior RW Joe Dusbabek (8G-18A) ranks third on the team in scoring, with assists on all three PPGs in the 5-3 loss at MSU … he is tied for second on the team for scoring in CCHA games (6G-15A) and is tied for third in overall PPGs (5) … Dusbabek had 1G-2A in both games of the Jan. 21-22 WMU series and has 16 points in his last 15 GP (5G-11A) … his career-best 26 points this season are more than his point total from the previous two years combined (23).
- Senior C Ben Simon has 126 career points (43G-83A) in 140 games … Simon notched his third career two-goal game in the 5-3 UMass win before adding two-goal games (all on PPGs) in the 5-3 win at BG and the 5-3 loss at MSU (he has yet to record a hat trick) … he has 23 points (10G-13A) in his last 23 games (five in first 12) and halted a 14-game goal drought in the 7-4 UNO win on Feb. 12 (he also had 3A in that series) … Simon’s recent surge includes scoring five of ND’s last 11 goals (all on the PP) and he has points in six of the last seven games (6G-6A) … he leads ND with 10 PPGs this season (he totaled 11 in his first three seasons) … Simon’s final trip to BG (he hails from nearby Shaker Heights) yielded his four-point game in the 5-3 win, including his seventh career GWG (tied for 10th in ND history).
- Junior RW Ryan Dolder has 16 points (5G-11A) in the last 23 games (2G-4A in the last nine) and is fourth on the team in scoring (7G-15A) … Dolder-an invited walk-on in ’97-’98-holds ND’s longest streak for consecutive GP (60) … he was recognized by the coaching staff for his emerging leadership by being named the team’s third alternate captain on Dec. 1.
- Freshman RW Michael Chin had 2G in the win over UNO and has 4G-4A in the last 11 games (none in the last four) … Chin’s recent surge includes 3A in the UAF series and 1G-1A in the 2-1 win at OSU … his 11 points in CCHA games (5G-6A) are tied for fifth on the team … each of Chin’s six goals have come during the last 19 games (he scored the equalizer in the 1-1 tie with LSSU, on Jan. 8) … Chin (6G-6A) leads all ND freshmen in goals while closely trailing C Connor Dunlop (3G-12A) and D Even Nielsen (4G-9A) for most points among the Irish rookies.
- Senior LW Andy Jurkowski had played in a team-best 86 consecutive games before missing the BG and MSU series due to a hand injury (he could return for the FSU series) … Jurkowski posted the first multi-point game of his career in the 4-3 loss to Princeton (2A) and is tied for ninth on the team with 12 points (4G-8A, 2G-4A in 70 games over his first three seasons, as mostly a D) … Jurkowski had an assist in the 4-3 win over WMU to end a seven-game point (he also had an assist at UAF) drought but still is looking to end a 23-game goal drought (he had 4G in the previous 6 GP) … after Jurkowski missed the BG series, only Dolder and Carlson have appeared in all 38 Irish games this season.
- Junior LW Jay Kopischke has 5G-4A in his last 22 games played and ended a seven-game point drought with his PPG in the 5-3 loss at MSU (his nine points this season equal his total from his first two seasons)
- Dunlop (ND’s top-scoring rookie, 3G-12A) assisted on Dan Carlson’s goal in the 4-1 win over WMU for his first point since returning from the World Juniors … the freshman C added his eighth assist of the season in the 3-3 tie at UAF before picking up 3A in the 7-4 win over UNO, a SHG in the 5-3 win at BG and an assist in the 1-1 tie vs. the Falcons …the goal was just the third of the season for Dunlop (he had ND’s only other SHG, in the season opener vs. Michigan) and marked his first score since Nov. 27, ending a 14-game goal drought … he takes a three-game point streak into the MSU series (1G-4A).
- Sophomore C Brett Henning (3G-6A) picked up an assist in the 7-4 win over UNO, for his first point with the Irish since Nov. 28 (he had no points in his previous 15 GP, while also playing in the World Juniors).
- Sophomore Sam Cornelius played five games as a fourth-line LW/extra D in mid-December and early January.
- Sophomore LW David Inman (13G-7A) has 6G-4A since returning from the World Juniors, including 2 PPGs and 2A in the 7-4 win over UNO on Feb. 12 (the most points by an ND player in a single game this season, matched the next week by senior C Ben Simon at BG) … Inman-who did not play last week vs. MSU and likely will miss the rest of the season due to mono-also scored the second goal in the 4-3 win over WMU on Jan. 21 and had two PPGs in the 3-3 tie at UAF (Jan. 29) … Inman owns two of the seven multi-goal games by Irish players this season (he also had 2G vs. Union, Simon scored twice vs. UMass and twice at BG, Carlson twice vs. WMU and Chin twice vs. UNO) … Inman has 6A in his last 15 games (one in the first 17).
FROM THE BLUE LINE
- Senior D Sean Molina’s eight points (1G-8A) are a career-best … Molina is tied for fifth on the squad in plus-minus (+1), after ranking second on the ’98-’99 squad (+13) … Molina has totaled just 40 career penalties while playing the most games (144) of any current Irish player (he is averaging 3.6 games per penalty for his career) … Molina is tied for ninth on the 1999-2000 team with a career-best eight assists … Molina scored in the 4-3 loss to Princeton on Dec. 19, for his first career goal … by playing in at least two postseason games, Molina would become the ninth Notre Dame player ever to log 146 career games played … just five ND players have appeared in 148-plus, with two-time Academic All-American Steve Noble (148, ’94-’98) the only player to do so since 1982 … just two other ND players have logged 145-plus career games since ’82: Brett Bruininks (145, ’92-’96) and Brian Urick (146, ’95-’99).
- Senior D Tyson Fraser’s assist vs. UMass was his 50th career point (he now has 7G-48A) and marked his 45th career game with a goal or assist (now 49) … Fraser ranks sixth on the team in assists (11) and ranks as the team’s co-leading scorer among D (2G-11A).
- Senior D Sean Seyferth has six points this season (2G-4A, no points in last nine games) after totaling seven in his first three seasons combined (4G-3A).
- Freshman D Evan Nielsen (4G-9A) is tied with Fraser as the team’s top-scoring Ds (he had 1G-2A in the 7-4 win over UNO and 1A in the 1-1 tie at BG) … Seyferth is the only other D with multiple goals … Nielsen ended a nine-game point drought in the 7-4 win over UNO (he had 0G-1A in the previous 12 GP).
- Junior D Ryan Clark (from nearby Littleton, Colo.) scored in 3-3 tie at Denver for his first goal of the season and second of his career.
- The Irish senior D foursome of senior Nathan Borega (136), Fraser (127), Molina (144) and Seyferth (63) has combined for 470 career games played … throwing in Clark (85) gives the top five Irish D a total of 555 games of career experience (the starting six has 592 career games between them, with Nielsen’s 37).
BETWEEN THE PIPES
- Freshman Tony Zasowski ranks 7th overall in the CCHA with a 2.42 GAA (4th among goalies with 1,200-plus minutes), which would best the Irish record of 2.58 set by Forrest Karr last season … sophomore Jeremiah Kimento (2.91, 742 minutes) ranks 9th in the CCHA.
- Zasowski-who requested a gold helmet this season, similar to the ones worn by the Notre Dame football team (it was covered with the same paint that the football team uses, with the paint including a small percentage of gold dust) … has allowed just 38 even-strength goals in 27 games played, including just 14 in his last 14 appearances.
- His 2.30 conference GAA ranks 7th overall (3rd among league netminders with 1,000-plus minutes).
- He has started each of ND’s last 15 games while his 11 victories this season are tied for sixth-most in the CCHA.
- Zasowski received his third CCHA weekly award-as defensive player of the week-after totaling 51 saves in the recent series at BG (5-3, 1-1) … he previously was named CCHA rookie of the week on Nov. 1-after making 58 saves in a series with Miami University (5-2, 2-2)-and on Jan. 23, after totaling 41 saves and allowing just one even-strength goal in a pair of wins over Western Michigan (4-3 in overtime and 4-1) … he became just the fifth freshman to earn a CCHA player-of-the-week award this season, is one of five CCHA players who have totaled three-plus awards this season, and is one of five players to earn multiple rookie-of-the-week honors this season, joining Ferris State F Chris Kunitz (3), MSU G Ryan Miller (3), NMU F Chris Gobert (2) and BG forward Ryan Fultz (2) … ND joins FSU (3), MSU (4), NMU (3) and BG ( 3) as the only CCHA schools with three-plus rookie honorees this season (freshman C Connor Dunlop was honored on Oct. 18, after assisting on four goals in games vs. Providence and Union).
- Zasowski’s season save percentage (.904) has him on pace to challenge the long-standing ND record of .907 (set by Mark Kronholm in 1970-71).
- Zasowski has allowed 0-2 goals in 16 of his 23 starts and turned in a shutout streak of 130:36, spanning 54 minutes of the 2-1 loss at UNH on Nov. 27 and the first 76 minutes of the MSU series (Dec. 4-5)
- ND’s team GAA of 2.68 is on pace to challenge the team record (2.61, ’98-’99)
- Zasowski (19 saves vs. UAF, 24 vs. MSU) is the second ND goalie with two solo shutouts in the same season (Karr shut out OSU and Miami in ’98-’99)
- Kimento posted a 19-save shutout vs. Union, marking the first time that the Irish have shut out three opponents in the same season
- Zasowski and Kimento combined for 56 saves and three GA in the crucial Jan. 7-8 LSSU series … Zasowski picked up the 2-1 win over LSSU in his first appearance since Dec. 10, making 29 saves and helping stop all six Lakers PPs (he closed the game with 28 straight saves, after allowing an early goal) … Kimento closed the 1-1 game vs. LSSU with 25 straight saves (he totaled 27)
- Junior G Kyle Kolquist made his first career start (second career GP) in the 4-2 loss to Princeton, with 21 saves and just one even-strength goal allowed.
UPWARDLY MOBILE: Excluding the early losses at Ferris State, ND posted a solid record of 6-3-4 (.615) when heading into a game versus a team that was situated above or tied with the Irish in the CCHA standings: 1-0-0 vs. Miami, 1-1-0 vs. MSU, 1-0-1 vs. Lake Superior, 0-1-1 vs. NMU, 2-0-0 vs. WMU and 1-0-0 vs. UNO … on the flip side, the Irish went just 5-3-3 (.591) this season when facing a team that was ranked lower in the CCHA standings at game time: 3-0-1 vs. UAF, 0-2-1 vs. UNO, 1-1-0 vs. OSU, 1-0-1 vs. BG.
NO BROOMS ALLOWED: ND’s 14 CCHA series yielded just four sweeps (two for, two against), with each coming close to being non-sweeps … ND was swept in its first two series (5-3, 6-1 at home vs. Michigan, 4-1, 4-2 on the road vs. Ferris State) … ND needed a pair of one-goal wins to sweep Alaska Fairbanks on Nov. 12-13 (1-0, 3-2), with Tony Zasowski posting a 19-save shutout while ND scored three 3rd-period goals to erase a 2-0 deficit in the second game … the only CCHA sweep involving ND since mid-November (spanning the last eight series) saw ND top Western Michigan (4-3 in overtime and 4-1) … to win the first game vs. WMU, the Irish needed a goal by Dan Carlson with 1:23 left in regulation (he also scored the OT game-winner).
A CLOSE-UP LOOK AT THE BIGGER PICTURE: With the 1-1 tie at BG, ND missed out on the chance to even its record at .500 for the first time this season, with a 7-4-5 mark in the last 16 games (the Irish were 7-12-3 after the Jan. 1 loss to Colorado College) ND’s 2.47 goals/gm is lowest in team history (the ’96-’97 team averaged 2.63) but the Irish have totaled 18 goals in their last five games … ND has relied less on freshmen for scoring in the past two seasons: the freshman class totaled 79 points in 1996-97 and 91 in ’97-’98, but just 34 in ’98-’99 and 45 this season … ND’s reliance on power-play goals also can be seen in the individual plus-minus numbers, as senior C Ben Simon (+8) and senior RW Joe Dusbabek (+4) are the only ND players above +2 (seven ND players finished higher than +2 last season) … the 5-3 game at BG (34-23) and the 5-3 loss at MSU (26-24) represent the only games in the last 12 in which ND has been outshot … the Irish had 12 goals in a two-game stretch (also 7-4 vs. UNO) before failing to get a second goal in the 1-1 tie at BG.
CLOSING THE DEAL: ND quietly has laid claim to a lengthy streak, similar to the one held by Michigan until recently … the Irish have gone unbeaten in their last 39 games when holding a lead at the second intermission (33-0-6, 10-0-3 this season) … the last time ND lost after holding a second-intermission lead was Jan. 9, 1998, in the second game of a three-game series at UAF … UAF’s Sean Fraser tied the game (2-2) with a PPG in the third minute of the final period before Chris Kirwan converted a breakaway with 0:45 left in OT.
GOOD THINGS BOUND TO HAPPEN: The 1-1 game at BG marked the 11th time this season that ND has held the shot edge (31-21) but gone on to lose or tie … all told, the Irish are just 8-9-3 when holding the shot edge … ND has outshot its opponents in nine of the last 12 games (plus one game that had equal shot totals), with the Irish owning a 6-3-3 record in those games (and an average shot margin of 33-23).
FIVE ALIVE: Despite being one of the CCHA’s lowest-scoring teams, ND has one of the league’s top-scoring fivesomes, as five Irish players were bunched among the CCHA’s top-52 scorers heading into the final week of the regular season: junior LW Dan Carlson (now 16G-14A), senior RW Joe Dusbabek (8G-18A, 33 GP), junior RW Ryan Dolder (7G-14A), senior C Ben Simon (12G-18A, 36 GP) and sophomore LW/C David Inman (13G-7A, 32 GP, out with mono) … only Michigan (9) had more players with 20-plus points, as of March 1.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS: ND’s 14 wins have featured eight different game-winning goalscorers … the Irish are 20-7-6 (.697) in their last 33 regular-season home games (three losses by one goal) … the Irish are 33-0-6 in the past two seasons when leading at the second intermission (10-0-3 this season), 21-2-2 when ahead at the first break (9-1-0) … ND’s leaders in GW points: junior LW Dan Carlson (4 GWG-GWA), junior RW Ryan Dolder (2 GWG-3 GWA), senior RW Joe Dusbabek (GWG-3 GWA) and senior C Ben Simon (2 GWG-2 GWA) … they are the only ND players with more than three GW points this season (15 have scored or assisted on the 13 GWGs ) … prior to the 4-1 first period vs. Vermont, ND had been outscored 13-4 in the 1st period this season (now 36-30, 28-28 in the 2nd, 33-29 opponent edge in the 3rd).
SHORTY SHORTAGE: Despite having an effective penalty-kill unit that includes a number of forwards who are capable of using their speed to beat the other team down the ice, ND is tied for having the fewest shorthanded goals of any CCHA team (2, both by freshman C Connor Dunlop-in the opener vs. Michigan and in the 35th game of the season, at BG) … in fact, the entire Irish team has combined for just 10 career SHGs, including just four in the last two seasons: junior LW Dan Carlson (4, 3 in ’97-’98), senior C Ben Simon (3, all in ’97-’98), senior RW Joe Dusbabek (1, in ’96-’97) and injured junior LW Chad Chipchase (1, in ’98-’99) … Dunlop and Carlson are the only current healthy players who have scored a SHG in the last two seasons.
RETURN OF THE ROAD WARRIORS?: Despite a 5-8-6 season road record (3-6-6 on opponent’s ice), ND is 3-3-3 in its last nine road games and has turned in its share of big road victories during the past few seasons … in fact, the Irish have posted wins in 22 different road arenas during the five-year tenure of head coach Dave Poulin (20 in the past three seasons) … the previous two seasons (’97-’98 and ’98-’99) saw ND post road wins over all 10 CCHA opponents, including a 4-2 CCHA playoff win at Michigan and wins over Ohio State at the OSU Ice Arena and the off-campus Columbus Fairgrounds Coliseum (the Irish recently added a win over OSU at yet another Columbus venue, with the 2-1 overtime win on Feb. 5) … ND also owns three road wins over Wisconsin during the Poulin era, all at different sites: Milwaukee’s Bradley Center, the Dane County Coliseum and the Kohl Center dedication game … the Irish own road wins in the Poulin era at Mankato State, St. Cloud State, Northeastern and North Dakota-plus a 5-5 tie at Boston College, plus a pair of 2-2 ties this season at the Omaha Civic Auditorium and NMU’s Berry Events Center … finally, ND has posted recent neutral-site victories at the University of Minnesota (vs. Brown), the University of Denver (vs. Union) and the University of New Hampshire (vs. Vermont) … there are seven facilities in which a Poulin-coached Irish team has played but not posted any wins: Princeton (two losses in ’96-’97), Boston College (loss and tie), Illinois Chicago (loss in ’96-’97), the Palace at Auburn Hills (loss to Michigan in ’96-’97), Van Andel Arena (loss last season and this season), the Omaha Civic Auditorium (0-1-1 this season) and NMU’s Berry Center (0-1-1 this season).
THRILL OF VICTORY: Dan Carlson’s GWG at OSU on Feb. 5 (0:56 left in OT) held extra significance, as it marked the first time that the Irish have scored a GWG in the final minute of regulation or OT in seven years-since Matt Osiecki found the net with 0:55 left in OT for a 5-4 win at Kent State on Feb. 14, 1992 … since that time, ND has been on the losing end of 12 last-minute, game-winning goals (seven of those have come during the five-year tenure of head coach Dave Poulin).
DOUBLE (OT) DIP: In addition to his last-minute score at Ohio State (2-1, Feb. 5), Dan Carlson earlier had scored two huge goals in the 4-3 home win over Western Michigan on Jan. 21, forcing OT with 1:23 left in regulation before netting the 6-on-5 game-winner in the first minute of OT … his timely plays vs. WMU and OSU make Carlson just the second player in ND hockey history-and the first in 28 years-to score two overtime goals in the same season .. junior winger Paul Regan scored OT goals in ’71-’72 vs. Michigan Tech (6-5) and Cornell (5-4).
ZASOWSKI HONORED AGAIN: ND freshman G Tony Zasowski (Darien, Ill.) recently earned his third weekly award from the CCHA, named defensive player of the week after helping the Irish post a 5-3 win and 1-1 tie at BG on Feb. 18-19 … Zasowski-who has started each of ND’s last 13 games-opened the win at BG with 25 saves en route to a 31-save night (2 even-strength GA) … the next night, he made 20 saves, allowing a third-period goal … he ranks sixth among regular CCHA goaltenders with a 2.29 overall season GAA (fourth among those with 1,000-plus minutes) … his .908 overall save pct. ranks sixth among CCHA goalies with 1,000-plus minutes … both of those marks remain on pace to best the Notre Dame records set by Forrest Karr (2.58, ’98-’99) and Mark Kronholm (.907, ’70-’71) … his 11 victories are tied for fourth-most in the CCHA … Zasowski has allowed just 35 even-strength goals in 25 games played (just 14 in the last 13) while allowing 0-2 total goals in 15 of his 21 starts … he has posted two shutouts (19 saves vs. Alaska Fairbanks, 24 vs. Michigan State) to join Karr as the only Irish goaltenders ever to post multiple solo shutouts in the same season.
MORE ON CCHA AWARDS: Freshman G Tony Zasowski also has been named CCHA rookie of the week twice: on Nov. 1-after making 58 saves in a series with Miami (5-2, 2-2)-and on Jan. 23, after totaling 41 saves and allowing just one even-strength goal in a pair of wins over Western Michigan (4-3/ot, 4-1) … ND players were honored three times by the CCHA during a six-week span (ending Feb. 26), equaling the most by any CCHA team during that stretch … Zasowski-who also has twice been named CCHA rookie of the week-became just the fifth freshman to earn a CCHA player-of-the-week award this season … ND players have combined for five total CCHA weekly awards this season … Irish freshman C Connor Dunlop was named CCHA rookie of the week on Oct. 18 while junior LW Dan Carlson was named offensive player of the week on Feb. 7 … Zasowski is one of five CCHA players who have totaled three-plus awards this season: Michigan C Mike Comrie (three-time player of the week), Ferris State F Chris Gobert (two-time rookie of the week, two-time offensive player of the week), MSU G Ryan Miller (two-time rookie of the week, defensive player of the week) and Lake Superior G Jayme Platt (four-time defensive player of the week).
CENTURY MAN: Senior C Ben Simon (Shaker Heights, Ohio)-who earned preseason CCHA “player of the year” honors from Hockey News-registered 1G-1A in the season-opening Michigan series, giving him 100 points (32G-68A) in his 106th game … Simon has pushed his career total to 128 points (43G-85A) in 140 games and is the fourth Irish player to reach 100 points in the five-year tenure of head coach Dave Poulin, joining ’96 graduate Jamie Ling (51-102) and ’99 grads Brian Urick (57-69) and Aniket Dhadphale (61-44) … Simon needs seven more goals to become the 29th ND player to total 50-plus goals and 50-plus assists … he suddenly is three points shy of cracking ND’s top-20 career scoring list and needs 12 assists to move into that top 10 list … his seven career game-winning goals are tied for 10th in Irish history (199 graduate Brian Urick, who shares the record of 13 with current Irish head coach Dave Poulin, is the only ND player since 1993 with more than seven career GWGs) … Simon also needs one more power-play goal to move into the Irish career top 10 for PPGs.
10-POINT SERIES: A pair of Minnesota natives-junior LW Dan Carlson (Edina) and senior RW Joe Dusbabek (Faribault)-played leading roles in the Jan. 21-22 sweep of WMU … Carlson converted a scramble 6-on-5 goal with 1:23 left to force OT in the first game before slapping home a PPG from the top of the slot, 0:52 into OT … he assisted on Dusbabek’s goal the next day for a 1-0 lead and scored the clinching third goal en route to a 4-1 final … Carlson’s four-point weekend was the first by an ND player this season in CCHA action but Dusbabek bettered him with a six-point series (1G-2A in both games) … he was credited with the first ND goal of the series when his pass deflected off a WMU player (he later assisted on Carlson’s GTG and GWG) … the next night, he opened the scoring with a rocket shot from outside the blue line before assisting on the next two goals.
ON TO THE PLAYOFFS: Despite a 1-4-1 start, ND went 10-6-6 in its final 22 CCHA games (6-4-4 in the last 14) to edge Ferris State by a single point for fifth place … ND ranks 10th in the CCHA for overall goals/gm (2.47), 6th in goals allowed (2.74), 5th in power-play pct. (.179), 6th in penalty-kill pct. (.833) and 1st in fewest penalty minutes/gm (16.71) … freshman G Tony Zasowski’s 2.42 overall GAA ranks 7th in the CCHA (4th among goalies with 1,200-plus minutes) … junior LW Dan Carlson is tied for 10th in the CCHA with 16 goals (up from seven last season) and is tied for 11th with 32 points … senior C Ben Ben Simon (12G-18A) is tied for 16th on the CCHA scoring charts and is tied for fourth in power-play goals (10) … sophomore C/LW David Inman (out with mono) is tied for 19th in the CCHA with 13 goals (he had 10 in ’98-’99) … Carlson also ranks 7th in the CCHA with nine PPGs and is tied for 3rd with four GWGs.
DISCIPLINED PLAY: ND’s low team GAA (2.68) is due in large part to the Irish being CCHA’s least-penalized squad (7.7 penalties, 16.8 PIM/gm, leading to just 5.8 opp. PP chances/gm) … since ranking as the CCHA’s most-penalized team in ’95-’96 (11.31), the Irish were the least-penalized in ’96-’97 (8.69) and ’97-’98 (6.37) and the third-least penalized in ’98-’99 (8.40) … ND’s more disciplined players include freshman RW John Wroblewski (4 penalties, 26 GP), senior LW Andy Jurkowksi (5, 24 in 104 career games), senior C Ben Simon (16, compared to 30-31-31 in the past three seasons), sophomore C Brett Henning (7, 22 in 66 career games), junior LW Dan Carlson (13, 40 in 111 career games) and junior RW Ryan Dolder (12, 27 in 99 career games) … senior D Sean Molina has 14 penalties this season (40 in 144 career games) … senior D Nathan Borega had just 16 penalties as a sophomore and 13 as junior but has a team-high 33 this season (just six in the last 10 games) … ND was whistled for 13 penalties in the 6-0 loss at NMU (most in 20 games, since 15 in 4-2 loss to FSU on Oct. 24), leading to 10 PPs … the Irish then ended the regular season with a bizarre game at MSU that included 80 penalty minutes between the teams and 27 power plays (ND had 52 penalty minutes, leading to 17 PPs for MSU).
RACKING UP THE MILES: ND’s 11 road trips cover many miles, with two trips to Denver, plus recent jaunts to the upper peninsula for a series at NMU and to Fairbanks, Alaska, and earlier visits to Omaha, Neb., and Durham, N.H. … other trips include Big Rapids/Grand Rapids, Mich., East Lansing, Mich. (2), Bowling Green, Ohio, and Columbus, Ohio … the CCHA “cluster” schedule resulted in the loss of the customary short trips to Kalamazoo (Western Michigan) or Ann Arbor (Michigan).
TOP PROSPECTS: Four current and future ND players were listed among the top 160 players on the NHL’s Central Scouting Service midseason rankings (most from any CCHA team) … the rankings list players born between Sept. 16, 1980-Sept. 15, 1982 ( players born after Sept. 15, 1981 must “opt-in” and forfeit their college eligibility) … ND’s top-rated player is fall signee Neil Komadoski (Feb. 10, 1982 birthdate), considered one of the nation’s top D prospects in his age group … Komadoski (Chesterfield, Mo./U.S. Under-18 National Team) checked in at 51st, the fourth-highest rated player/signee in the CCHA … current ND players on the list include three draft-eligible freshmen: D Evan Nielsen (Evanston, Ill.), C Connor Dunlop (St. Louis, Mo.) and RW Michael Chin (Urbana, Ill.) … Nielsen checks in at 70th, sixth-highest among all current CCHA players/signees and first among active league D (six spots ahead of NMU’s Sean Connolly) … Dunlop is listed 118th, eight-highest among all players with CCHA ties and second among active CCHA forwards (Michigan center Andy Hilbert is 26th) … Chin is the ninth-highest CCHA player/signee on the list, at No. 158.
NOTRE DAME’S RECORD WHEN:
|Ahead at 1st intermission||9-1-1|
|Behind or tied at 1st intermission||5-15-7|
|Ahead at 2nd intermission||10-0-3|
|Behind or tied at 2nd intermission||4-16-5|
|Scoring 1 goal||2-7-2|
|Scoring 2 goals||3-4-3|
|Scoring 3 goals||1-5-2|
|Scoring 4 goals||3-0-0|
|Scoring 5 goals||4-0-0|
|Scoring 6 goals||0-0-0|
|Scoring 7 goals||1-0-0|
|Scoring no PPGs||2-7-2|
|Scoring one PPG||4-7-5|
|Scoring two PPGs||7-0-1|
|Scoring 3-plus PPGs||1-2-0|
|Scoring a SHG||1-1-0|
|Allowing no PPGs||8-3-3|
|Allowing one PPG||5-7-3|
|Allowing two PPGs||1-2-2|
|Allowing 3-plus PPGs||0-4-0|
|Allowing a SHG||2-5-0|
|Totaling <20 shots||1-3-0|
|Totaling 40+ shots||1-1-0|
|Allowing <20 shots||4-2-0|
|Allowing 40+ shots||0-0-0|